Millions Time-Shift Their Disappointment As NBC’s ‘Revolution’ Sets DVR Record

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. Why is Revolution such a huge hit for NBC? There’s nothing to this show. There’s the bad guys (the militia), the good guys (the rebels), some people stuck in between, lots of shooting, and an illogical conceit that involves a loss of power. The acting is bad; the writing is atrocious, and they seem to fill 80 percent of each episode with generic action scenes in order to delay developing the plot. The writers seem to be saying, “How are we going to explain the science behind our central mystery?” “I have no idea. Let’s just have the Dad from Twilight beat up some more people while we think about it some more.” Plus, the only character in the show worth watching, the militia leader played by Giancarlo Esposito, is barely on the show.

Yet, it’s a huge hit. In fact, after DVR viewing is accounted for, it’s an even bigger hit.

After three-days of DVR viewing is accounted for, ratings for Revolution shot up 51 percent! That’s a record for an NBC show, bringing it up to a 5.5 in the 18-49 demo. That’s a huge, monster of a number. To put that in perspective, the finale of Lost had a 5.8 rating.

What is going on? I’m not alone in my dislike for Revolution, am I? I suspect I’m also not alone in disliking the show, but continuing to watch it anyway, although I’m finding that the “previously on” scenes are all you really need to see each week to properly keep up.

It is nice, however, that DVR viewership has become more important in the ratings game, and a lot of shows in premiere week had huge boosts when adding in DVR viewers. The New Girl, for instance, jumped 38 percent to a 3.8 rating, a solid number compared to the mediocre 2.7 rating from live viewers. In fact, New Girl — once DVR was accounted for — jumped ahead of its time slot rival, Go On. New Normal also had a 38 percent jump, which was not enough to push it ahead of The Mindy Project (which had a 22 percent jump).

Also, my favorite new sitcom of the season, Ben and Kate, only received a 15 percent jump, which doesn’t help its prospects terribly, although I’m gratified to find that the heinous new sitcom, Partners, only received a 9 percent jump. So far, the only solid new sitcom hit of the fall remains Go On.

Meanwhile, Modern Family grew from a huge 5.5 to a humongous 7.3; How I Met Your Mother grew from a modest 3.6 to a successful 4.4.

Across all networks, there was an average of a 26 percent increase in ratings after DVR viewership was accounted for during premiere week (we still don’t have DVR numbers for Parks and Rec). However, the increases were more significant for returning shows than for new shows and reality programming. More importantly, the DVR numbers demonstrate that people still are watching network television in large numbers; they’re just watching it on the DVRs instead of live. Also important: Nielsen announced yesterday that it will now begin to include web viewing in its ratings.

(Sources: Deadline, NYTimes, EW)